Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Three movies

I actually saw three movies last week, and I hadn't had surgery or anything! Very exciting for me. Unfortunately, two of them kind of sucked. Some quickie reviews:

1. Frost/Nixon -- I was skeptical going into this one. It just seemed like kind of a small topic for a film. But it's extremely well done. To me, it's of a piece with The Queen (2006), also written by Peter Morgan, in that it deals with a relatively small historical event (a presidential interview, a former princess' death) and manages to make a rather large statement from it. What Morgan and director Ron Howard manage to do with Frost/Nixon is convey just how important the interview was to both characters and to the American political system in general. It becomes a form of a duel, with Nixon seeking to regain his honor and Frost trying to keep from losing his. We also get to see what a bizarre, flawed, and tragic man Nixon was. He'd been elected president twice, but he was still insecure, still haunted by JFK, and still having to prove to the snobs that his successes weren't flukes. See this.

2. Ice Age: The Dawn of the Dinosaurs, in 3D -- Okay, the 3D was really impressive. But after that, it was just kind of dull. Now, I am a fan of the first Ice Age film. It was no Pixar production, but it was funny and entertaining, with some sincere moments of drama (like Manny studying the cave paintings) and a believable camaraderie among the three protagonists. None of that was there this time around. The actors were barely even phoning it in, and the whole dinosaur plot didn't make much sense. I mean, it wasn't an offensive movie, unless you consider the subplot of the female squirrel using her feminine wiles to get the male squirrel to part with the fruits of his labor offensive, which I guess it kind of is. But it was mainly just dull.

3. He's Just Not that Into You -- I just couldn't accept that all these attractive, professional women were so vacuous and self-delusional. Keep in mind that this film was based on a self-help book that was itself based on an episode of "Sex in the City." Now, I have great respect for that show, but it could, at times (particularly when Carrie was writing), be incredibly vapid. Now imagine how vapid a film based on a book based on Carrie's writings might be. Roger Ebert's review is spot on, particularly when he describes his reading of the book:
I asked Amazon to "surprise me" with a page from inside the best-seller He's Just Not That Into You, and it jumped me to page 17, where I read: "My belief is that if you have to be the aggressor, if you have to pursue, if you have to do the asking out, nine times out of 10, he's just not that into you."

I personally would not be interested in a woman who needed to buy a book to find that out. Guys also figure out that when she never returns your calls and is inexplicably always busy, she's just not that into you. What is this, brain surgery? I have tried, but I cannot image what was covered in the previous 16 pages of that book. I am reminded of the book review once written by Ambrose Bierce: "The covers of this book are too far apart."


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saribotton said...

I'll have you know that Julian and Noah Goren described Ice Age as the "Best. Movie. Ever."

Seth Masket said...

What did Julian and Noah think of Frost/Nixon?

Unknown said...

can you provide me some links to these 3 movies....


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